See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 2 : ISSUE 2 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK. Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.
Volume 2 : Issue 2
Welcome to Common Ground News
• GeoMetrx will be attending the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference at
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, March 27-29. Come by Booth #627 to meet Kent
Hargesheimer, Rich Mithoff and Patrick O’Neill.
In this Issue:
* Feature Article – The Evolution of the Grocery Industry: Newly Emerging
Niche Market Opportunities
* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at GeoMetrx “How to Edit Overlay – Boundary Lines”
* Thematic Map – Weekly Grocery Spending – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!
* Trivia Challenge – Grocery Store Trivia: When / What / Where / Who
This and all our newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource
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The Evolution of the Grocery Store Industry:
Newly Emerging Niche Market Opportunities
Back in the 1800s, long before we had cars and refrigeration, food shopping was
a much different task than it is now in the modern era. In order to gather all
the food items needed, shoppers had to visit several different shopkeepers.
Grocers at that time sold mostly canned goods and non-perishable staples (‘dry
goods’), while greengrocers sold produce and butchers sold meat. These
shopkeepers were separate entities, though they often clustered together for
convenience. Additionally, these shops were not self-serve as they are today.
Employees worked behind the counter and filled customers’ orders. Many offered
delivery services as well.
“The only constant is change”
And the grocery industry is no exception! After years of little change, the
1920s ushered in a new trend for grocery stores. Owners began establishing
regional networks, or chains, of stores. The result was a newly realized economy
of scale, offering lower prices for customers than the many small ‘mom and
pop’ owned stores could provide. By the 1930s, these grocery store chains not
only continued to expand their market areas, they also began to expand their
stock. This new supermarket concept encompassed selling a wider variety of food
items beyond just dry goods, as well as offering health and beauty products and
more, all under one roof.
The Great Depression further influenced the grocery industry with supermarkets
focusing less on personal service and becoming more utilitarian in nature.
Store owners sold goods by placing the stock on shelves and leaving the work of
selecting and handling prodcuts to the customer. In some stores the goods were
simply left in the packing crate in a no-frills format. By the end of the decade
the expanding grocery chains began consolidating their locations. Industry
leaders, such as A&P, were replacing five or six smaller stores with one large
super store wherever possible. This created even greater profit margins on an
inverse scale – sales were increasing as the number of actual stores was
By the 1950s, as the advent of the automobile contributed to the redistribution
of the population from city centers to suburban communities, so too did it
increase consumers’ choices. Competition among neighboring grocery stores made
it necessary to increase advertising and introduce customer loyalty programs
such as trading stamps, games and contests. However, these programs increased
overhead at a rate faster than gross margins and eventually most if not all of
these programs were abandoned. In order to remain competitive and profitable in
the following decades, supermarkets chains tried a new approach – discounting
– by expanding their offerings with additional general merchandise and cutting
prices. Many chains accomplished this by either placing grocery and discount
stores side by side or housing both under one roof. A new customer loyalty
tactic, an evolution of price-cutting, was the introduction of savings card
programs which provide loyal shoppers with sales prices and reward points.
As we’ve entered a new millennium, the grocery industry continues to carve out
creative strategies to maintain growth and profitability. These strategies
include offering private label brands, larger store sizes, and specialty
services such as delicatessens, ready-to-eat dishes, bakeries, pharmacies, etc.
Some grocery stores rent space to other businesses such as banks, barbershops
and other consumer services.
“Everything old is new again”
As technology infiltrates our lives, many of us long for a simpler and more
nostalgic way of life. There is a growing demand among consumers for local,
community-oriented businesses. The grocery industry is responding. Small
business owners are popping up in communities everywhere to fill niche markets
including ethnic food, natural and organic foods and locally produced goods. As
with any business, location is important. Our GeoMetrx web-based mapping
software is loaded with rich demographic data for retail site selection,
consumer profiling and market analysis. For more information or a demo call us
Tips & Techniques –
How to Edit Overlay – Boundary Lines
Overlays are the visual layers depicting the map features offered
in GeoMetrx. These include physical features such as roadways, parks,
airports, rivers, lakes and city centers. Overlays also include conceptual
features such as ZIP Code, County and State boundaries as well as other census
and marketing area designations.
Our mapping tool allows the user to control which features are displayed on the
map and how they are displayed including style, color and more. Boundary lines
are especially useful for visualing franchise and sales territory areas. This
month’s Tip & Technique guide provides a walk-through on how to access and
utilize the setting controls for boundary lines.
Weekly Grocery Store Expenditures:
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!
Food is one of the most basic necessities of life along with water, shelter and clothing. Meals and snacks are a major component of our day to day existence. One of the first things we do each day is ‘break’ our overnight ‘fast,’ hence the meaning of the term breakfast. Just a few short hours later we are thinking about lunch, only to return home at the end of the day for yet another meal; some call it supper, some call it dinner. And in between all those meals, many of us pepper our day with snacks to keep us energized. With all this eating, it’s no surprise that our weekly grocery bill can be quite large, especially the larger our families or the more eclectic our tastes.
At GeoMetrx, we have variety of grocery spending datasets including the one
depicted below showing the distribution of households spending $150 or more per
week on groceries. The darker the green, the higher the percentage of households
doing so within that geographical region. Additional data sets include a range
of weekly grocery spending as well as money-saving coupon usage.
Click here to see a larger version of this map.
For more information on how to obtain access to GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.
February 2013 – Trivia Challenge
This month’s trivia challenge is a four-part series:
1) WHEN was the first ‘self-service’ grocery store opened?
2) WHERE was it opened?
3) WHAT was it named?
4) WHO was the founder?Click Here for the Answers